Sunday, October 9, 2011

Trench Breakfast (Pan Tumaca)

When our kitchen table was full of plump, ripe tomatoes this summer, I would often ask Dave, "Want to have Trench Breakfast tomorrow?" He would always say "Yes" so I would head to the store and buy a baguette for the next morning. "What's Trench Breakfast," you ask? Well, it is a Spanish breakfast dish of grated tomatoes on toasted bread. An old roommate of Dave's, known as Trench, had lived in Spain for a while and made it for us once or twice. I was impressed.  

I finally did look up the name, and I'm pretty sure that it's called Pan Tumaca (Tomato Bread).  I'd ask Trench to verify, but he's back in Spain, unreachable. Anyway, I still think "Trench Breakfast" is catchier.  

If you need something to do with your last few tomatoes of the season and want to really enjoy their flavor, this is the dish to make.  I know most people, including myself, typically eat a sweeter breakfast.  However, I've found that this breakfast is much more satisfying and filling.  Definitely worth the trouble of picking up a baguette at the store.  For the Trench Breakfast in these photos, I used an amazing loaf of bread that a friend had given me for my birthday.  If you don't know any generous breadmakers, just make sure to buy a quality loaf. 

Pan Tumaca is simple; it's just grated tomatoes, minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and salt. Grating tomatoes is really fast and surprisingly fun.   It's especially handy because it easily removes the skin of the tomato.  

Trench Breakfast (Pan Tumaca)
from Jeff Trench

This recipe is pretty basic and flexible. Feel free to tweak the proportions to your liking.

3-4 medium sized ripe tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
about 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more
a couple pinches of salt
plenty of black pepper
a baguette, sliced

Turn on oven broiler to high. Place a single-sided grater over a bowl (or a standing grater in a bowl).  Take each tomato and grate into bowl (being careful not to grate your fingers) until only the skin and stem remains. 

Add garlic, olive, salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Place slices of baguette, crust side down on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil.  Toast bread under broiler for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown.

Spoon tomato mixture on to a slice of bread.   Enjoy!

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